Bullies for Islam

Poso, December 2001:

They stamp into the bare room in heavy combat boots, three men dressed entirely in black, trailing the faint scent of smoke. These are the warriors of Laskar Jihad—the Army of Jihad—and their self-proclaimed mission is to protect their brothers in Islam. The men have come from a night spent burning nearby Christian villages and forcing their occupants to flee, all part of a concerted campaign of religious cleansing in the ravaged countryside surrounding the town of Poso on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Deputy commander Mohammad Ichsan, sweating heavily in a black turtleneck, is still thrumming with...

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